Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Scurrgs: Space Manatees!

Wrapping up Wave II, I'm going to talk about the Scurrg Bomber.  Not many people used to use them, but they get work done (waves at Nathan, Worlds 2018 winner)!
My favorite part in the movies was when these guys.... uhhhhhhhhh....
With the anti-squadron and Heavy of a Y-wing, and the speed to match, it's not going to be winning many races against TIEs as a base.  But it's got the same longevity, with 6 health, and it's got Grit, so it can move away from engaging squadrons.  It's got B-wing anti-ship dice, and Bomber, so your B-17 Flying Fortresses (Thanks to our friend-of-the-blog Giled Pallaeon for pointing out the correct ship type for the below picture!) can plow their way forwards and start hitting ships sooner.  It's a heavier Y-wing.
I fully believe the Scurrg is based on the Flying Fortress, but I could be wrong.
I really liked Scurrgs back in Wave II.  When the Rebellion only had the Independence title to push squadrons faster, B-wings were great but hard to move.  Scurrgs, which pair well with X wings as Escorts (same speed!), were able to fly fast enough to get where they wanted to go, and successfully hit ships.  Now that All Fighters Follow Me! (AFFM!) and Fighter Coordination Team (FCT) exist, people havent been using Scurrgs as much, which is a shame.  Compared to a B-wing, they have one more speed and health, but one less blue anti-squadron die, all for 2 more points.  With points in list building at the premium they are, not many people use Scurrgs these days.

I imagine some of it is the points cost and the fact that you can overcome a lot of the B-wing problems now with AFFM!/FCT (and the extra blue dice against squads!), which also pairs well with OTHER squadrons too, but some of it in my mind is aesthetics.  The B-wings look graceful and tiny, while packing shotguns for whatever they can close on.  The Scurrgs have the same dice, but they look flat and ungainly (and their anti-squadron isnt as good...).  They're the manatees of the Rebellion, unloved and not as cool looking as B-wings.
Is this about to just devolve into John posting manatee pictures? Man I hope not!
But all those tricks to make B-wings go faster also work on Scurrgs.  Speed 4 Scurrgs with AFFM!, speed 5+ if you can get the FCT trick with them too.  It's not cheap, but they work just as well as B-wings at hitting ships.  Where Scurrgs shine, though, is just living through problems and Gritting their way out.  You can spread out more with your Scurrgs since they natively have Grit and don't need it from Jan Ors (though you appreciate the brace tokens!).

When a TIE or an A-wing engages your bombers (and they will engage them!) you NEED to move your escort squadron to let the B-Wings or Y-wings escape.  However, the Scurrg just lumbers on its merry way, getting ready to throw its dice at the ship causing you problems.  And you can move far enough away that you won't be engaged by enemy fighters who would prevent you from hitting their ship.  With its 6 health, it can survive AA better than a B-wing, too.
Pictured: a Scurrg moving to attack an ISD
The Scurrg is much more of a bomber than a fighter, though it can SOMEWHAT contribute (dont do it often, you have better things to do).  I've used them well with X-wings, with the X-wings killing enough squadrons to allow Grit to do work, and then the Scurrgs can leave and attack a ship.  Scurrgs are like bigger Y-wings, which is nice in that you don't need to command as many to get very similar killing profiles.  They roll 2 anti-ship dice to the Y-wing's one, which means if you don't want to load up your list with 3+ GR75s to command 4 squadrons of Y-wings, you can get very similar killing power just from 2 of these.  Rolling 2 blue dice and 2 black dice total, they can put a good hurt into enemy ships.  Treat the Scurrg like you would treat an angrier Y-wing, and she'll do good by you.
2/8 of the time it works EVERY time!
Nym has one of my favorite abilities in the game.  If he can roll a blue crit, he gets to discard one of the defender's defense tokens, my choice which one.  This ability can, if combined with a solid ship followup, cripple or kill an ISD.  Nym can bomb one on turn X, and then an MC30 with XI7s can come in on turn X+1 for a shot that's going to REALLY hurt.  Because of how crit effects work, they do get spend their tokens before Nym triggers.  So don't go after flotillas, hoping to remove their scatter.  They'll spend it and remove your blue dice from the pool.  Nym is meant to hurt bigger ships (ISDs, VSDs, potentially Gladiators, or Assault Frigates, Peltas, and HMC80s) that REALLY wanted to brace the shots they're taking, or redirecting them.  He's not great targeting things with multiple identical tokens (MC30s and Nebulon B's for example) and I personally don't feel like I get the most use out of him when I attack a smaller ship with few hit points or evade tokens (Alright, killed your CR90! So glad I had to spend half its points cost to do so!).

I like Nym, which I think makes me a war criminal.  I've ruined Motti ISD lives with it, but it takes setup.  You have a 2/8 chance of rolling that crit, so you need some combination of:

1) Adar Tallon for another go at rolling the crit
2) Yavaris to ensure 2 blue dice with it
3) Toryn Farr for the rerolls
4) Potentially Rieekan to ensure that he gets the attack from Yavaris.
5) Bomber Command Center from a flotilla

It's a LOT to do, but if you can strip a brace (and potentially a second or third token, with one HELL of a lot of luck?), you can ruin an ISD or MC80's life.  They depend on those brace tokens to absorb some bad attacks, and if they don't have it, you can pour fire into the ship with impunity.  Plus you'll have other bombers, too, right? Just keep throwing dice at the problem!

Nym isn't usually seen too much.  You usually want Nym followed by another (large) ship that can take advantage of his attack as a followup (against that now Braceless ISD...).  He CAN be used against an MSU swarm, he just doesnt feel as useful as if he takes the tokens away from a medium or large ship.  Removing the Redirect from a LMC80 causes a LOT of problems for the opposing Rebel player.  If you can get the crit to trigger and then follow up, Nym is well worth his points cost.
A shiny space penny to whoever can identify who she is in canon for me!
Malee Hurra is the ace from Rebellion in the Rim.  She is one of the more pricey squadrons, tied with Han and only behind Hera/Morna Kee for most cost in any faction.  She's basically Screed on a stick.  If she's at distance 1 of a ship and only engaged by 1 or 0 squadrons, you can smoosh 2 dice together to make a critical appear.  This is kinda cool on 2 blank reds, but just like Screed it's REALLY good on making (blank) black dice turn into Hit/Crits.  She only works once per activation, and you can't be engaged, and she has to be at distance 1, and the moon has to be in the 7th house, and you have to had sacrificed a FRESH goat (not store-bought) to the crossroads demon, and if you give a mouse a cookie.....

Yeah, it's a fair amount of setup to get the engine working.  The obvious answer is to put her into your Sato fleet, where she can help your ships get that critical off (and I'm DEFINITELY saying get a fancy Ordnance or Ion critical off; you're spending all sorts of points for a combo that had BETTER be worth the setup you're investing in it).  I'm not suggesting scrimping on your reroll mechanics, because removing Ordnance Experts/Task Force Organa is an easy way to watching Malee get focused down and shot repeatedly by everything your opponent can throw at her.  But it's a way to potentially remove a few of them and use those points on other things.  Try to keep her on an obstacle to both protect her and prevent her from getting engaged by multiple squadrons.  She does NOT want to fight her way out of those (a blue and a red? Oof, pass), but she CAN Grit move her way out, and the 2 blue dice anti-ship are solid enough as well.

With the 1.5 changes (only 4 tokened aces allowed per 100 points) and her at best "kinda ok i guess?" dice, if you're taking her it's to exploit her ability to the fullest.  After talking with Eric, though, the smartest way to do seems to be putting her with anyone BUT Sato.  Sato is fun but he's already a literal game of Mousetrap trying to move squadrons in to shoot ships with and then have your other ships shoot at the same time to get a critical and blah blah blah.  Why not just include her with some other list who can push her easily and set up a slam dunk shot from your other ships?
  • Guarantee that you're getting Heavy Ion Emplacements to proc off that CR90B that she's near.  She shows him exactly where to fire the fancy ion lasers and get that crit off.  Or even more fun, Defiance HMC80 with HIEs says it's gonna trigger, so long as I can add in at least one blue dice.
  • Help out an MC30 (or MC75?) with Fire Control Teams (yes, THAT upgrade) get off something like Assault Concussion Missiles and XX-9? (And oh, yes, that does work the way you want it to).  Fire Control Teams is an exhaust, mind you, but that can rip some ships apart if you can keep her close enough to get it to trigger.
  • If you put Malee inside a Hammerhead (with Rapid Launch Bays) and then put THAT inside Profundity, you can get a critical by firing out the front of your ship and smooshing 2 together (feed the Hammerhead a squadron token, likely with Hondo, to ensure you can kick Malee out).  You can then trigger Malee's ability for 2 APT/ACM criticals from your Hammerhead and MC75.  You have to place her right, but allowing your Profundity to ALSO benefit from her ability can help.  This is a very huge wombo combo, but it's very hard to counter, as she can just jump out of the Hammerhead unengaged.  And then your opponent has to either let the Profundity shoot or find a way to kill her FAST before she can trigger and help it again.  I'm not saying it makes Rapid Launch Bays good, but it's definitely interesting at least?
  • You can also trigger her with Salvo shots.  Smush two bad dice together into a crit, or even take one blank and a regular and turn it into a crit that way.  Goes great with black dice critical effects (waves at Starhawk-1), even if you can only trigger a regular crit effect off of salvo.  Just watch out for the evades on your opponent's ship and if you're making their job easier for you when you Salvo, but sometimes moderately okay dice fixing is what you need.  Just remember all her restrictions.
I haven't fully explored everything Malee can do yet, but she's definitely a very interesting character to contribute to your list.  Being able to guarantee some of these crits makes them look a LOT better and more useful, that's for sure.

How to Use Them
They're basically big Y-wings (as I've been saying repeatedly, haha!).  Aim them at your opponent's ships and fire them as much as possible.  They aren't horrid against squadrons (as horrid as TIE Bombers!), but man, for 16 points you could have paid for Dutch or Dagger or Tycho, which do that job MUCH better.  You REALLY want them to be hitting ships if you can, and Grit allows you to do that very well.  Again, everyone (but Nathan!) seems to have forgotten Scurrgs since the ability to successfully move B-wings came out, but they CAN get work done just as well by leaving behind their problems.

And apropos of nothing, here's an amazing picture of manatees high-fiving that I found.
Thanks, Internet!


  1. Did you also for get BCC for rerolls ? ;) must give a strong chance to get the critical ! (Now limited to 1)

  2. This GIF just killed me! it made me SO laugh... and laughing is good for health!! in the right hands, Armada just becomes a health changer ;)
    Big Tx from France; live long and prosper friends! Peace out!